As Oregon moved toward joining an international market to cap carbon emissions in late June, truckers, loggers and farmers chugged into the capitol in Salem. With horns blaring, they protested a proposed bill to rein in greenhouse gases, rallying behind slogans like “Timber Unity” and “Cap Kills Jobs.”
As demonstrators gathered, Oregon’s Republican state senators absconded to Idaho in a last-ditch effort to prevent a Senate vote on the bill. Political wrangling over the emissions-reducing legislation was punctuated by arrest threats, menacing remarks aimed at state police, and pledges of support for the senators from militia members. More than a week later, the Republicans returned — once Democratic leaders declared that they didn’t have enough votes to pass the climate bill.